I don’t know if the UK version of Shameless, which inspired the American iteration is any good, but I do know that I love Showtime’s version like Gay Jesus loves LGBTQ rights. After the midseason finale in October, the show is on hiatus until January 20th. Recent announcements from Emmy Rossum (Fiona) & Cameron Monaghan (Ian) about each of them retiring from their roles on the show leave the fandom worried about the future. But season ten has already been contracted, and we will go on without them. Perhaps this will see Frank returning to the folds of the major family arcs more often, whereas the first half of this season he felt like a third-tier character. Also I expect Liam, who finally started talking last year at like age 8, to continue to emerge as a central character. He’s about the age that Karl was when the show first started. Notably, he’s also smarter already at age 9 than full-grown Karl will ever be.
One fun story that will still be in play when they return in January is Frank’s budding romance with clinically insane psychoanalyst Ingrid Jones (played by the always marvelous Katey Sagal!). The last few episodes, she had been off her meds and having a torrid love affair with Frank that led to a few knife attacks and lots of broken glass. In Ian’s last episode, he went back to prison for blowing up the van as a publicity stunt when leading the youth Gay Jesus movement. The switchback happy ending was that Mickey, who we presumed was in Mexico, was in the same facility and arranged to be Ian’s cellmate. Wow. Small world, I guess, but those two will be happy off-screen, we can presume. Lip has a new love interest and is a sponsor now for a younger AA member. He’s arguably the most “got their shit together” Gallagher of the season so far. Though, Debbie has also been fairly responsible, while raising Frannie, working as a welder, and testing the waters of a lesbian relationship. Karl has a militant new girlfriend who is working on helping him get into West Point, and poor Liam is back in public school after a year’s worth of a free ride at a fancy private school.
The biggest spectacle coming into the mid-season finale last month was watching Fiona crash and burn. For a year and a half, she had her life going so well. She’s a realtor on the rise who owns a diner & an apartment building. She’s also invested in a large retirement home development project, which was where things started to go awry. New inspections came up and she needed to throw an additional 25k at the project, but her investments were already overleveraged and she couldn’t get another loan. Finding out that her bf Ford was actually married was the straw that broke the camel’s back, and she wound up getting into a drunk driving accident and totaled her car.
Debbie helped her salvage some money for the vehicle and also put Ford in a giant metal pillory so that Fiona could blast his bare ass with paintballs as revenge for his deception. So Debbie is really on point lately. Her financial situation was balanced out by Max, her partner in the retirement home project, who offered to buy her other buildings in a way that let her stay in the investment. Because she lost the apartment building, she had to move back into the Gallagher house with the rest of the family. So her last seven episodes on the show have her back in the neighborhood. I can’t wait to see how crazy it all turns out. We miss Ian already and will value our last few months with Fi.
Don’t miss it when Shameless returns to Showtime on January 20.